The covers of various news outlets

Praise for Leo Messi after his historic five-goal performance against Bayer Leverkusen in the Champions League last-16 return leg extended beyond his teammates and manager.

Pep Guardiola and Pedro’s words of praise are only the tip of the iceberg, news outlets from around the world ran out of adjectives to describe last night’s performance. Here is a sample of what’s being said about Messi in today’s press:


L’Equipe: ‘¡Messi, Messi, Messi, Messi, Messi!’ and a photo of the Argentine’s five goals were on the cover of the French daily

Gazzetta dello Sport: ‘Barça Show, Manita [Little hand] for Messi’

Corriere dello Sport: ‘Messi, five legendary goals’

Bild: ‘The God of football: Messi’ said the German daily, “his five goals humiliated Leverkusen, a mere sparring for Barça. Leo is a joy for any football fan.”

Kicker: ‘Record failure, Messi destroys Bayer’ and ‘Messi, the Kaiser of the Champions League’ said the German daily. Leo is “simply unique and extraordinary”

Daily Mirror: ‘Five stars, from another planet’

The Telegraph: ‘Messi makes history in the Champions League’


Olé: ‘Picasso,’ “Leo scores five goals (!) against the German runner-up (...) for two of his goals he chipped the keeper, he keeps on breaking records.”

Muy Buenos Aires: ‘More than Diego’


Folha de Sao Paulo: ‘Messi 5 x Neymar 3’


Récord: ‘Messi is turning into a Semidio5 [Semigod]’ - “Leo keeps on demonstrating that he’s the best in the world. We’re running out of adjectives to describe his performances.”

Eco: ‘Unique’ plus a large photo of the Argentine led on the cover of the news source. “If there were any doubts about who he is, right now, the best player in the world, Messi scored five goals against Leverkusen yesterday.”


El Universal: ‘Give me 5 Messi’ plus a photo of  Leo and Piqué led the South American daily. “Crushing record for the Argentine.”


Diez: ‘Messi’s fifth symphony’


El Gráfico: ‘Godly hand’ said the Central American daily. “He scored all types of goals to make history.”


El Líbero: ‘He’s from another planet.’ “Messi confirmed that he’s from another galaxy and he scored five, yes, five ‘pepaza’ that took Barça to the quarter-finals.”


Sport: ‘The little hand of God,’ plus a photo of the Argentinian after the 7-1 rout.

Mundo Deportivo: ‘The hand of God’

El 9Esportiu: ‘Alien’

MARCA: ‘The little hand of God.’ Leo Messi “is the first player to score five goals in one Champions League game.”


*Manita, or hand/little hand, is often used to refer to five goals in one game (one finger for each goal). Thus the leading headlines of many of today's news outlets.

The footballers also weighed in yesterday's match

Various footballers expressed their opinions on Leo Messi’s performance last night on Twitter:

Wayne Rooney: “Messi is a joke. For me the best ever.”

Falcao said, “was this a Champions League match or is this Messi in a Play Station game? Intractable! If he scores six goals does he get to keep two footballs?”

Ex-Blaugrana and Barça legend, Rivaldo said, “he’s fantastic, FIFA needs to give him another player of the year award.”

Maresca said “my imagination cannot believe that there has been someone better. Pelé, Maradona, Platini? They are greats. Messi? A monster.”

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